|Publication number||US7529945 B2|
|Application number||US 10/642,900|
|Publication date||May 5, 2009|
|Filing date||Aug 18, 2003|
|Priority date||Mar 2, 1998|
|Also published as||US6324649, US6615359, US20020035693, US20050102664|
|Publication number||10642900, 642900, US 7529945 B2, US 7529945B2, US-B2-7529945, US7529945 B2, US7529945B2|
|Inventors||Kevin W. Eyres, Michael H. Lee|
|Original Assignee||Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Non-Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (3), Classifications (7), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/994,174, filed Nov. 26, 2001, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,615,359 which is a continuation of U.S. Ser. No. 09/033,257, filed Mar. 2, 1998, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,324,649.
Computers are becoming increasingly important in many aspects of life, including homes and businesses. As computers become more important, more advances in computer capabilities are discovered. Previously, computer systems sold by computer hardware manufactures were often sold with few, if any, software application pre-installed. The end-user had the responsibly to purchase the desired software applications. After the purchase, the end-user would install the software on the computer system. The installation process often required the end-user to enter details concerning the physical embodiment of the computer system, including the make and model of peripheral devices. The interaction often caused difficulties for the end-user who was not familiar with computer terminology or with the specific computer system.
Through the combined efforts of the computer system providers and the software providers, computer systems containing a substantial number of software applications, pre-installed on the computer system, have become available through standard retailers. This has allowed the end-user, who may have few computer skills, to purchase a computer system which can be utilized with little user know-how. However, this change in the marketing of the computer systems has added to the growing problem of computer software pirating.
One problem that has plagued software providers for years is software pirating. Software pirating is the unauthorized copying of the computer software or associated software documentation. Software pirating generally occurs in two distinct forms. The first is software pirating by an unlicensed user. The unlicensed user “borrows” a copy of a software application from an acquaintance or form their employer. The software is then copied, allowing the unlicensed user to keep a copy of the software application while returning the original to the legal licensee. The second type of software pirating occurs when an individual or business copies a software application intending on selling the pirated software application. Software providers have combated pirating by including license key or registry information prompts in the installation software. Typically, the installation software prompts the end-user to enter a license key, provided by the software provider separate from the software, before installation of the software is initiated. If the license key is not provided, the software cannot be installed.
This however, contradicts the objective accomplished by providing the software pre-installed on the computer systems. Computer system hardware and software providers desire efficient processes to pre-install the software without losing the inherent protection of license keys.
Typically, the pre-installed software applications provided on the computer systems either does not include license key protection or the software is partially installed, requiring the end-user to complete the installation process. An example of this is when a software application is included on the computer system, but the software is present only in a compressed form. During final installation, the install program asks for a license key, then decompresses the software and installs the decompressed software application. Neither of these solutions fully satisfies both the computer hardware and the software providers. Therefore, advancement in the ability to pre-install software on a computer system while maintaining software protection is desirable.
A method and computer system according to the disclosed invention allows the pre-installation of a software application without a license key. The computer system installs the software application and provides a prompt for a license key. The license key can be entered at this time, if so, the key is stored in the registry. The license key is generally provided by the software provider with the software application documentation. If the license key is not entered, the computer system installs the software application and installs disabling code. The disabling code is executable at startup. An advantage is that the computer system manufacturer can install the software application, relieving the end-user from this task.
At startup, the disabling code is executed, if installed, determining if a license key is stored in the registry before providing a prompt for a license key if no key is stored in the registry. If a proper license key is entered, the computer system stores the key in the registry and un-installs the disabling code. If an improper key is entered, the computer system allows a key to be reentered or the disabling code is exited.
The software application can be executed by the user. When the software application is executed, the computer system determines if a license key for the software application is stored in the registry. If a license key for the software application is stored in the registry, the software application is run. If no license key for the software application is stored in the registry, the computer system provides a prompt for the key. If a proper key is entered, the computer system stores the license key in the registry and runs the software application. If an improper key is entered, the computer system prompts for a license key. The software application can be installed such that execution occurs automatically with startup. However, license key verification occurs as previously discussed.
A better understanding of the present invention can be obtained when the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment is considered in conjunction with the following drawings, in which:
The host bridge 14 in the disclosed embodiment is a 440LX Integrated Circuit by Intel Corporation, also known as the PCI AGP Controller (PAC). The ISA bridge 24 is a PIIX4, also by Intel Corporation. The host bridge 14 and ISA bridge 24 provide capabilities other than bridging between the processor socket 16 and the PCI bus 10, and the PCI bus 10 and the ISA bus 12. Specifically, the disclosed host bridge 14 includes interface circuitry for the AGP connector 18, the memory subsystem 20, and the AGP 22. A video display 82 can be coupled to the AGP connector 18 for display of data by the computer system S. The ISA bridge 24 further includes an internal enhanced IDE controller for controlling up to four enhanced IDE drives 26, and a universal serial bus (USB) host controller 25 for controlling USB ports 28 in accordance with the present invention.
The host bridge 14 is preferably coupled to the processor socket 16, which is preferably designed to receive a Pentium II processor module 30, which in turn includes a microprocessor core 32 and a level two (L2) cache 34. The processor socket 16 could be replaced with processors other than the Pentium II without detracting from the spirit of the invention.
The host bridge 14, when the Intel 440LX Host Bridge is employed, supports a memory subsystem 20 (or main memory) of extended data out (EDO) dynamic random access memory (DRAM) or synchronous DRAM (SDRAM), a 64/72-bit data path memory, a maximum memory capacity of one gigabyte, dual inline memory module (DIMM) presence detect, eight row address strobe (RAS) lines, error correcting code (ECC) with single and multiple bit error detection, read-around-write with host for PCI reads, and 3.3 volt DRAMs. The host bridge 14 support up to 66 megahertz DRAMs, whereas the processor socket 16 can support various integral and nonintegral multiples of that speed.
The ISA bridge 24 also includes enhanced power management. It supports a PCI bus at 30 or 33 megahertz and an ISA bus 12 at ¼ of the PCI bus frequency. PCI revision 2.1 is supported with both positive and subtractive decode. The standard personal computer input/output (I/O) functions are supported, including a direct memory access (DMA) controller, two 82C59 interrupt controllers, an 8254 timer, a real time clock (RTC) with a 256 byte complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) static RAM (SRAM), and chip selects for system read only memory (ROM), RTC, keyboard controller, an external microcontroller, and two general purpose devices. The enhanced power management within the ISA bridge 24 includes full clock control, device management, suspend and resume logic, advanced configuration and power interface (ACPI), and system management bus (SMBus) control, which is based on the inter-integrated circuit (I2C) protocol.
The PCI bus 10 couples a variety of devices that generally take advantage of a high-speed data path. This includes a small computer system interface (SCSI) controller 36, with both an internal port 38 and an external port 40. In the disclosed embodiment, the SCSI controller 36 is an AIC-7860 SCSI controller. The external port 40 can be attached to mass storage subsystems, such as a hard disk drive or a tape drive. Also coupled to the PCI bus 10 is a network interface controller (NIC) 42, which preferably supports the ThunderLan™ power management specification by Texas Instruments. The NIC 42 is coupled through a physical layer 44 and a filter 46 to a RJ-45 jack 48, and through a filter 50 to an AUI jack 52.
Between the PCI Bus 10 and the ISA Bus 12, an ISA/PCI backplane 54 is provided which include a number of PCI and ISA slots. This allows ISA cards or PCI cards to be installed into the system for added functionality.
Further coupled to the ISA Bus 12 is an enhanced sound system chip (ESS) 56, which provides sound management through an audio in port 58 and an audio out port 60. The ISA bus 12 also couples the ISA bridge 24 to a Super I/O chip 62, which in the disclosed embodiment is a National Semiconductor Corporation PC87307VUL device. The Super I/O 62 contains several logical devices, one of which is a Real Time Clock (RTC). Resident in the RTC of the Super I/O chip 62 is non-volatile Random Access Memory (NV RAM) 63. This Super I/O chip 62 provides a variety of input/output functionality, including a parallel port 64, an infrared port 66, a keyboard controller for a keyboard 68, a mouse port for a mouse 70, additional series ports 72, a CD-ROM controller for a CD-ROM drive 84, and a floppy disk drive controller for a floppy disk drive 74. These devices are coupled through connectors to the Super I/O 62. Resident on the keyboard 68 are light emitting diodes (LEDs) 69. The floppy disk drive 74 includes disk drives for a 3½ ″ and 5¼″ floppy disks and Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface (ATAPI) drives, including the LS-120 drives.
The CD-ROM drive 84 of the disclosed embodiment is a standard 16× speed CD-ROM, however, varying speed CD-ROM drives could be implemented without detracting from the spirit of the invention. The CD-ROMs for use with the CD-ROM drive 84 include, but are not limited to, CD-ROMs containing software applications and the associated software installation applications. CD-ROMs can be used to install software applications on the computer system S.
The ISA bus 12 is also coupled through bus transceivers 76 to a flash ROM 78, which can include both basic input/output system (BIOS) code for execution by the processor 32, as well as an additional code for execution by microcontrollers in a ROM-sharing arrangement. An exemplary BIOS according to the invention is shown below.
The ISA bus 12 further couples the ISA bridge 24 to a security, power, ACPI, and miscellaneous application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) 80, which provides a variety of miscellaneous functions for the system. The ASIC 80 includes security features, system power control, light emitting diode (LED) control, a PCI arbiter, remote wake up logic, system fan control, hood lock control, ACPI registers and support, system temperature control, and various glue logic. The ISA bus 12 is also coupled to a modem 86. The modem 86 contains connectors which can be implemented to connect the computer system S to an external network. The modem 86 can be used to load software applications and software installation programs on to the computer system S.
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If a proper key is not entered in step 418, the computer system S provides a valid wrong license key warning and prompt in step 420. The wrong license key warning and prompt provides that a license key was entered but is not a valid license key as determined by the process discussed in
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The foregoing disclosure and description of the invention are illustrative and explanatory thereof, and various changes to the size, shape, materials, components, circuit elements, wiring connections and contacts, as well as in the details of the illustrated circuitry and construction and method of operation may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
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|International Classification||G06F21/12, G06F11/30, G06F12/14, H04L9/32|
|Dec 8, 2009||CC||Certificate of correction|
|Nov 5, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Nov 9, 2015||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT LP, TEXAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P.;REEL/FRAME:037079/0001
Effective date: 20151027